IMAGE of 18th Louisiana Infantry Regiment Heading


     The drive from New Orleans to Shiloh, Tennessee takes about 10 hours
of steady driving. S---, my wife, and I decided to take this drive on a crystal
clear day in early October 1998, just as Autumn's first cool spell was moving
into New Orleans... pushing aside late summer's lingering humidity and steamy temperatures. We had not taken a "real" vacation for over five years, and this was
to be one to remember. The drive was invigorating...our route taking us up the
Natchez Trace Parkway from just north of Jackson, Mississippi and with our
stopping in Tupelo for the evening. We planned to visit the battlefield the next
morning. The drive on the Trace was a prelude of what was to come...a sense
of traveling through time...moving ever a point in time and
history where my late Great-great grand- father, Placide Richard, a lowly
private in Co. K, of the 18th Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, along with some
(500) other young men were brought together by destiny. Along with thousands
of other young men from all parts of this country, they were to meet on the
fields and forests of southwestern Tennessee. Their coming together was
climaxed during two bloody days in April 1862, at what history now remembers
as the Battle of Shiloh.

     The battlefield at Shiloh is just across the border, some 22 miles from
Corinth, Mississippi in southwestern Tennessee and is situated on a relatively
flat plateau of land that gently rises to end in steep bluffs at Pittsburg Landing,
along the Tennessee River. On this crisp Friday morning, driving into the
battlefield park was marked with a sense of excited expectation. Feelings of
immense power, and presence seemed to overwhelm this researcher as we approached
the battlefield. These emotions were mixed with a sense of awe...of great unrest
on these blooded grounds.

     After first touring the museum, we took the short drive to Pittburg Landing
and looked out over the flowing waters of the Tennessee River, observing coal
laden barge traffic pass before us destined for points south. The viewer could
almost envision the federal ironclads and troop transports moving cautiously up
the river to disembark their cargo of untried troops unto the landing at Pittsburg.

     A gentle fall breeze blew in from the northwest carrying sounds of others
visiting the National Cemetery overlooking the river. The cemetery is located
on the bluffs, adjacent to the landing. These muffled sounds were mixed with the
gentle rustle of thousands of leaves in early stages of seasonal change
throughout the park.

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     While shopping, on the evening prior to our visit to Shiloh, a friendly
sales lady told us of her regular visits to the battlefield. She talked of the following...saying at times, while (she was) sitting on the bluffs, she could hear
the subdued sounds of troops...talking, moving, and marching to the barking of
orders. When she would ask her companions about this, all would claim to have
heard nothing. Climbing the bluffs behind the cemetery, S--- and I paused for a
while and through a large gap in the trees, looked out over the mighty Tennessee
River while harboring faint hopes of experiencing similar sounds. Though we
did not experience anything, a sense of unrest did prevail. The quiet was almost unnerving, broken only by the rustle of leaves in the gentle fall breeze.

     A couple of days later, after returning to New Orleans, S--- and I
were reminiscing about our experiences at Shiloh. I mentioned about what I had
heard while viewing the river at Pittsburg Landing. I asked her about the subdued
sounds, and the rustle of wind in the trees, coming from behind us in the direction
of the cemetery. She informed me that she had heard no voices, for at the time
there were only two people and one worker in the cemetery and they were not
talking. I thought she was joking, but she became serious, indicating that for
once, it was not her hearing voices! S---, had on more than one occasion, been
reminded of her ability to communicate with her ancestors! Were the voices this
researcher heard those of other park visitors (as was believed...), or were the
voices, speaking in muted, hushed tones other than park visitors? Surely,
they were other park visitors?

     After a time of silent thought in the cemetery, we then proceeded to
tour the battlefield... making stops along the way at such well known sites such
as the "Hornet's Nest", the "Sunken Road" and the "Peach Orchard". We also
visited the site of the Confederate batteries were history tells us, had been
grouped some 60 cannon firing at the rate of one every 15 seconds, in a
determined attempt to dislodge the Federal troops who were making a stand
in the "Sunken Road". Other sites such as the "burial trenches" containing
the Confederate dead were especially moving and troubling to S--- and I. It was
almost impossible to hold back tears while visiting these sites. One particular
site especially troubling and was out of the way, and included two Confederate
burial trenches spaced some three tenths of a mile apart... each containing
simple markers. One site, has the traveler walking into a secluded wooded area,
crossing a clear, slow moving stream (Rea Springs) which then leads up a gentle
rise to a serene clearing. Shiloh battlefield lists some five (marked) burial
trenches. At the insistence of General Grant, the Confederate dead, (numbering
some 1728) were interred shortly after the battle. A request was forwarded
by Confederate General, P. G. T. Beauregard, to allow relatives of the dead
to be permitted to come to Shiloh. The purpose was to retrieve their fallen loved
ones for a proper burial. Fearing widespread disease, General Grant reluctantly
declined this request on the grounds that the Confederate dead had already
been interred.

IMAGE Shiloh Banner

     At this point, this researcher could dwell on the battle itself, the figures
relating numbers and dispositions of troops along with the causality figures...but,
that is not the intent of this paper. Many well written efforts attest to details of
this great battle. This writers' intent is to inform the reader about the men of
a particular unit, namely, the 18th Regiment Louisiana Infantry Volunteers.

   During this researcher's tour of the Battlefield at Shiloh, a special effort was
taken to view the sites where his Great-great grandfather's regiment had marched,
fought and in some instances died. The 18th Louisiana was but a part of Pond's
Brigade which held the left flank during this battle. Ponds' Brigade (2nd Army
Corps, 1st Division, 3rd Brigade), was comprised of the 16th Louisiana Infantry,
18th Louisiana Infantry, the Crescent [Louisiana] Regiment, Orleans Guards
[Louisiana Battalion], 38th Tennessee Infantry, Ketchum's Alabama Battery,
and the Alabama Cavalry Battalion of Capt. Thomas F. Jenkins. Most of the
significant sites at Shiloh are clearly identified by markers and in a many cases
also bear monuments to the participants...both North and South. There are
some six markers that make reference to the 18th Louisiana. Walking these
hallowed grounds was a immensely trying experience for this researcher. In essence,
one could almost feel the apprehension, tension and raw fear these young recruits
must have felt. Most were yet to be tested in battle. Yet, these gallant men
marched on and fought with valor and tenacity...many falling, some by their
own batteries, whom mistook them for "fleeing Yankees". (Note: Some companies
of the 18th Louisiana were uniformed in blue!) After the first day of battle the
number of fallen (in the 18th Regiment) numbered some 200+ . The 18th
Louisiana fielded 500 men for the battle. Colonel Preston Pond, Jr.'s (Pond's
Brigade) battlefield report lists the following causalities incurred by the 18th
Louisiana at Shiloh: Killed...13, Seriously Wounded...80, Missing...118, for
a Total of ...211. Though some of the accounts vary, this is as close an
accounting of causalities as possible and includes almost half of the men that
the 18th fielded! What a loss! Even though accounts of the battle indicate that
the 18th saw "limited action" on the second day of battle, April 7, in compiling
lists of killed, wounded, died from wounds, etc. and then reviewing the accounts
of the battle in Grisamore's book, Reminiscences of Uncle Silas , there are a
number of entries that indicate that the 18th was engaged and this researcher
is not so certain as to this engagement being "limited or not".

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     A special note of thanks is extended to Brian Keith McCutchen, Park
Ranger, Shiloh National Military Park, who provided invaluable assistance
to this researcher's many questions concerning the Battlefield at Shiloh. He in turn
supplied the following information depicted on the markers that are listed below. Arranged in sequence, is the information portrayed on these markers as
referenced to the men of the 18th Regiment Louisiana Infantry Volunteers:

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Tablet "Q" C. S.

(The text for "Tablet Q", located on the eastern end of the
National Cemetery, overlooking the Tennessee River,
reads as follows.)


On the 1st day of March, 1862, GIBSON'S (La.) BATTERY, supported by the

18th LOUISIANA INFANTRY, and a detachment of Cavalry, occupied a position
on this bluff. About 10 A.M. the battery opened fire upon the U.S. Gunboats,
TYLER and LEXINGTON, which were ascending the river. The fire was returned
by the gunboats, and after a short engagement, in which a house standing near here
was burned, the battery and its support was driven away. Companies "C" and "K",
32d Illinois Infantry, landed from the Gunboats; took possession of two 32 pdr.
guns at this place and advanced to the log house which stood where the Cemetery
lodge now stands, and where they were attacked by the 18th Louisiana and driven
from the field. The Union loss was 2 men killed; 6 wounded, 3 missing. The
Confederates lost several killed; 17 Confederate soldiers were buried here. The
Gunboats proceeded up the river to Florence, and on their return, March 4th,
again landed at Pittsburg and sent a party out on the Corinth road, three miles
to a Confederate hospital having wounded men in it. Confederate pickets were
encountered near the hospital and the party returned to the boats.

(Note: According to the writings of Silas T. Grisamore, in his book Reminiscences

of Uncle Silas , he notes that the 18th Louisiana departed Corinth on February 26,
1862 for the 20 or so mile journey to Pittsburg Landing with Co. K (this reacher's
Great-great Grandfather's company, left in camp to guard the bivouac area.[_R])

(Bivouac tablet at the left of Bragg's line, near Winningham Creek).
364. C. S.
Pond's (3rd) Brigade
38th Tenn., Crescent (La), 18th La., Orleans Guard, 16th La.,
Ketchum's Ala. Battery,
Ruggle's (3rd) Div., Bragg's Corps,

This brigade, with its regiments in order from left to
right as above, and battery in the rear, bivouacked at this place Saturday night.

April 5, 1862. The two left regiments were detached to Owl creek road Sunday
morning. The other regiments went forward to McDowell's camp.

(Set on N. side of road about 150 yards west of Livingston's store.)
365. C. S.

18th La., Orleans Gd., 16th La.,
Pond's (3d) Brig., Ruggles' (1st) Div., Bragg's Corps,

Skirmishers from these regiments were engaged here about 10 a.m.
April 6, 1862. The Union force was withdrawn and these regiments
took possession of McDowell's camps.

(Line 108. Sta. 112 + 7, 41 ft. east.)
366. C. S.

18th La., Orleans Gd., 16th La.,
4 Guns of Ketchum's Ala. Battery.
Pond's (3d) Brig., Ruggles (1st) Div., Bragg's Corps,

These regiments and battery were slightly engaged here from noon to 2 p.m.

April 6, 1862. Pond's brigade was again engaged here on Monday, April 7, 1862.

(Line 64, Sta. 117 + 93 ft. west)
367. C. S.

18th La., Orleans Gd., 16th La.,
Pond's (3d) Brig., Ruggles (1st) Div., Bragg's Corps,

These regiments formed on echelon, left in front, charged the Union line in

their front at 4.30 p.m. April 6, 1862 and were repulsed with heavy loss.
They retired to camp of 8th Illinois.

(Line 88, Sta. 133 + 91.75 ft. east. On north side of
the road, a little east of Oglesby's Hdqrs.)
375. C. S.

38th Tenn., 18th La., Orleans Guard, 16th La.,
Pond's (3d) Brigade, Ruggles' (1st) Division,

These regiments retired to this place about 5 p.m. April 6, 1862 and bivouacked

here Sunday night. "The right at Oglesby's headquarters, the left towards Owl
Creek". They occupied this position until 9 a.m. April 7th.


IMAGE of Bisland Banner

In looking at the cold, curt military records of the men of the 18th Louisiana,
one can begin to see that they did indeed suffer hardships. Many joined for "a
year" while others were obliged to join for the "duration of the war" and later,
others were mustered in as "conscripts". A great many of these men were farm
boys who had never ventured more than a few miles from their homes. When
called upon to do their duty, they obliged and did as they were asked. Once in
uniform (many did not have the luxury of a uniform), they were at the disposal
of their commanders and had no choice as to what they did. Many of these
men, having tired of the hardships of war, must have had second thoughts,
and returned home when their enlistments were up.

Even during marches, (as in the pursuit by Federal troops in later actions
in Western Louisiana) some of the men could see their homes nearby, or just
down the road from where they bivouacked and were not allowed to visit their
families out of fear of their not returning. The feelings of longing to see their
loved ones must have been excruciating. These men were mostly farmers and their
farms required attending and crops needed to be planted and harvested. The
urge to return home had to be overwhelming. Many did go home. Even one
incident at Camp Moore (in Tangipahoa Parish) speaks of an entire company who
enlisted for a "year" and having dutifully reported to Camp Moore, they were told
that their enlistment was now extended for the "duration of the war". The entire
company went home. Such were the military records statements listing men as "deserters". This researcher's Great- great grandfather is listed as such, deserting
from Camp Qui Vive on Christmas Eve/Christmas, 1862...about two days hard
march from his farm in present southern Evangeline Parish. Many men having
been cut off from their units were also listed as "deserters". Many of these men,
possibly even thisresearcher's Great-great grandfather, did later rejoin their
units (or other units). The records of these units were in many cases lost
or destroyed and proof of such returns can only be speculated.

     It is next to impossible for anyone to write about a place, time or an
event without at the very least, making the effort to visit such a place. Time, unfortunately prevents us from viewing these historical events in real time, for
try as we may, we cannot venture back in time. We can only make feeble attempts
at guessing as to the conditions, hardships and experiences of men such as our
ancestors who lived and endured our past. Though this researcher and his wife made
a "hard drive of 10 hours" up to the Battlefield of Shiloh, during that early fall
weekend in October, one can only imagine just how tough it must have been for
the men of the 18th Louisiana. They had no smooth manicured roads, sprinkled
with cozy rest stops at every highway intersection. Nor did they have a multitude
of air conditioned restaurants and inns conveniently located near exits adjacent
the interstate. These men marched and toiled through the mud, swamps, dusty
pathways, and forests, while, for their daily sustenance, if they were lucky,
had wild game or livestock "liberated" from farms. If they were unlucky...
hardtack...if really unlucky...they had nothing. They slept in bivouacks,
under the stars or out in the open in the heat, cold or rain.

     Progress has provided us with a multitude of luxuries that we take for
granted (and often gripe when those luxuries temporarily fail us). The men of
the 18th Louisiana (along with everyone who participated in the great struggle
of the American Civil War) had none of these things. But they went on and did
what they believed was the right thing to do. This researcher can only hope that this
material will provide a small measure of assistance to researchers such as himself,
who look to the past for answers about the present. Even if but one person derives
some assistance from these pages; then the task of this researcher will not have
been vain.

     It is with these thoughts in mind that the material portrayed on the
following pages be lovingly dedicated to those gallant cavaliers of the 18th
Louisiana Regiment, along with my late Great great-grandfather, Pvt. Placide
Richard of Co. K.


J_ Richard
21 October 1998

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     About a year ago, when this project was begun, this researcher contacted
a very nice lady from Jackson Barracks Military Library in New Orleans, for
assistance in compiling the vast material needed to complete this undertaking.
She selflessly gave of her time and materials to provide extensive and clear copies
of the existing Muster Roll pages from the history of the 18th Louisiana Regiment.
She painstakingly made sure that all copies of the materials were as clean and
easy to read as possible. She knew that it would take months to check and verify
each entry against the records of Booth. One of the great attributes to these
document copies was that this researcher could then take and verify them against
the compiled records of Booth and then after painstaking work, a clear and
accurate picture of the men of the 18th Regiment would begin to emerge. These
changes and alterations will show up throughout the Roster that is to follow.

     This project could not have been completed without including additional information that ties the 18th Regiment into the Yellow Jacket Battalion
(10th Battalion), along with the Crescent Regiment, and with the end product
being the 18th Consolidated Infantry Regiment and Yellow Jacket Battalion.

     So, it is with this thought in mind that this "Special Recognition"
goes out to a very nice lady...
Ms. Sherrie S. Pugh, Archivist, Jackson
Barracks Military Library, without whose wonderful assistance this
project could NOT have been possible.

Let us begin our journey into the History of the
18th Regiment Louisiana Infantry...

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